IEA consumption forecast sends oil prices lower
DATE:2009-5-16  FROM:  AUTHOR:  DOWN:2911
Crude oil prices were lower again in afternoon trade in New York after the International Energy Agency weighed in with its latest consumption forecast, and after the US Labor Department issued new numbers showing that new jobless claims in the US were up again last week.

The IEA said that global oil consumption will be at 83.2 million barrels per day this year, 230,000 barrels below the estimate it made in April, with demand dropping by 5.1 percent this year in the developed world.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and the US Energy Information Administration both also cut their consumption forecasts earlier in the week.

At just before 1:30 p.m. in New York, about an hour before the close of floor trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery was down 56 cents to $57.46 per barrel, while at last report Brent crude was 44 cents lower to $56.90 per barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.

Earlier, in late morning trade, Nymex June gasoline futures were fractionally higher to $1.69 per gallon while at midday June heating oil was fractionally lower to $1.49 per gallon.

In afternoon trade, June natural gas futures had dropped 11 cents to $4.22 per million British thermal units.

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